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IN BRIEF / EARNINGS

General Mills Profit Rises Less Than 1%

March 17, 2004|From Bloomberg News

General Mills Inc., the No. 2 U.S. cereal maker, said third-quarter profit rose less than 1%, its smallest gain in more than a year, as consumers on low-carbohydrate diets bought fewer cake mixes and snacks.

Net income rose to $242 million, or 63 cents a share, from $240 million, or 63 cents, a year earlier, the Minneapolis company said. Sales climbed 2.2%, the smallest increase since 2001, to $2.7 billion.

Profit excluding costs related mostly to the acquisition of Pillsbury was 64 cents a share. The company had been expected to earn 66 cents, the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Shares of General Mills fell 20 cents to $46.15 on the NYSE.

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